Blasphemy? Perhaps. But the best thing about what may be the most rousing and well-crafted superhero movie since The Dark Knight is not the boffo action scenes that culminate in a New York City-destroying finale that rival... more »s Michael Bay's obliteration of the Chicago skyline in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No, the real appeal of The Avengers comes from the quiet moments among a group of decidedly unquiet humans, extra-humans, mutants, and demigods. In no particular order those are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), S.H.I.E.L.D. world-government commander Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and indispensable functionary Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). That's a superstar lineup both in and out of character, and The Avengers brilliantly integrates the cast of ensemble egos into a story that snaps and crackles--not to mention smashes, trashes, and destroys--at breakneck pace, never sacrificing visual dazzle or hard-earned story dynamics. Writer-director Joss Whedon is no slouch when it comes to being a comic geek and he handles the heavy duty reins with efficient panache. The effects are of course spectacular. They include a monstrous flying aircraft carrier that is home base to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury's Avenger Initiative; Tony Stark's gleaming skyscraper in midtown Manhattan; off-world scenes of malignant evil; as well as blindingly apocalyptic fights and the above-mentioned showdown that leaves New York a virtual ruin. Yet it's the deeply personal conversations and confrontations among the very reluctant team of Avengers that makes the movie pop. Full of humor, snappy dialogue, and little asides that include inside jokes, eye rolls, and personal grudge matches, the script makes these superhumans real beings with sincere passion or feelings of disillusionment. The conviction of the actors as they fully commit to their clever lines gives credibility to what comes off as more than simple banter, even during the more incredible moments among them (of which are many). The plot involves the appearance of Loki, disgraced villain and brother of Thor, who was also a key player in his eponymous movie. Loki has come to Earth to retrieve the Tesseract, a blue-glowing energy cube that is valuable beyond compare to forces good and evil throughout the universe. As Loki, Tom Hiddleston is supremely, yea gloriously appealing as the brilliantly wicked regal charmer who captures minds from S.H.I.E.L.D. and attempts to conquer Earth with the hideous army at his command. To say he is foiled is an understatement. His face-off with the Hulk is one of the giddiest moments in a movie filled with lightheaded mayhem, and is a perfect example of Whedon's throwaway approach to translating the mythic mystique of the Marvel comics universe. Though at times deadly serious (as deadly serious as an outrageous superhero destructo/fight-fest movie can be, that is), The Avengers is best when it lightens up and lets the fun fly alongside the powerhouse punches. By the way, a single blink-and-you'll-miss-it powerhouse punch is another moment that makes Hulk the most loveable underdog of a smashing green rage monster ever. That spirit of fun and pure adventure makes The Avengers the greatest kind of escapist Hollywood fantasy $250 million can buy. A blockbuster in the most literal sense. --Ted Fry« less
A bit slow at times but this movie was the setup of the avengers merging so it took time to set the stage. The special effect fight scenes were impressive though. A must watch for Marvel Comic fans!
George K. from COLCHESTER, CT Reviewed on 12/1/2013...
Ho-hum. CGI overload.
For me this movie's high point was Scarlett Johansson's character singlehandedly pounding a small gang of hoodlums, early on. From then on, hyperbolized action took over and lost my interest.
Gigantic conflicts involving a pair of Norse gods, a swarm of evil aliens, and a bunch of superscientist/superheroes, most transparently CGI products, got repetitive.
I know better than to expect subtle dialogue in a comic book movie, but goodness me!
I finished the movie although I had long since quit caring about its outcome.
0 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Keith A. (Keefer522) Reviewed on 10/6/2013...
Thor's crazed brother Loki wants to take over the Earth, prompting Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. to assemble the world's greatest super hero team - Captain America, Iron Man, the Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor and the Hulk - to save the planet in 2012's record shattering mega-blockbuster from Marvel Studios and Joss Whedon. Tons of action, great performances, and all out mayhem make this one a must see. It's total Comic Geek Overload!!!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Daniel W. from LANSING, MI Reviewed on 1/19/2013...
I wanted to wait until I got to watch this at home before I reviewed it. I saw it at the theatre and sometimes with big crowds on opening weekend, you can get duped into thinking something is better than what it really is.(Im looking at you Matrix Reloaded) Well, the good news is I wasnt wrong, or tricked. This is a very good movie. Not the Be all, end all some have said but very good none the less. First the good news. 1) The Hulk- Yes he is all that and a bag of chips in this movie. Like alot of the fanboys have wrote they finally got him right. I was very worried about what Mark Ruffalo would bring since I was ( and am) a big fan of what Ed Norton did with the character. Ruffalo is even better. He added that underlying sense of danger that Norton never could quite capture. 2)Joss Wheldon- Biggest ups go to this guy. When I saw all the movies leading up to this I wondered how he was going to be able to make all this work. All the characters,try to weave some kind of storyline into all of it, and deliver all the action people are expecting. He did all this PLUS added some truly funny lines to keep it light. Great, great, great job. 3)Captain America- I was truly surprised with the role he got in this movie. I figured he would be relegated to the background, and instead he was brought into the limelight. Most actual screen time of all of them , plus he is the moral center of the movie, the guy who is the "team" player. Great job by Chris Evans. Now the bad news.....1) Iron Man- I can feel peoples eyes bugging out saying "Is this guy crazy?" Maybe its just me, but the self absorbed, quick talking schtick is wearing thin. Of course there are some cool "updates" to the Iron Man suit, and also some, dare I say, signs of maturity in the Tony Stark character towards the end of the movie. I feel its time for the Tony Stark character to grow more. It will be interesting to see how Iron Man 3 is handled. 2)Hawkeye/Black Widow- They are not awful by any stretch but you never learn what makes them tick. Maybe they are saving that for their respective "origin" movies, although Scarlett Johansson has a great scene with the films bad guy Loki half way through the movie. Which brings me to.... 3)Loki- I know, I know. We all knew that he had no chance before this even started, but the character never felt very threatening, much less that he would prevail. Once again, its probably just me, although I have no problem with the performance of Tom Hiddleston, nice job. Incomplete...1) Thor- He got the shaft I was expecting Captain America to get screen time wise. Plus we see no character development at all. Not Chris Hemsworths fault. He did good with the lines he was given. After having said all that, the movie is very enjoyable, although a bit too long. Trim about 20 minutes and it would be darn close to perfect.